Festival met its financial goals, reports surplus of fun

MIDDLEBURY — The Festival on-the-Green capped what organizers said was one of its finest seasons, attracting big crowds who took in 17 great acts amid picture-perfect weather for its 34th annual run on Middlebury’s village green.
“Everything fell so nicely into place this year,” said Festival Secretary Pat Boera, who has helped lead the weeklong entertainment ritual since its debut in 1978.
“I can’t believe how we lucked out with the weather.”
Attendance for the July 8-14 event hit its peak during the Friday, July 13, performance by The Grift, according to Boera.
“You could hardly find space on the green,” she said.
The festival featured a plethora of entertaining events, ranging from magic shows to classic Congolese rumba.
Overseeing and coordinating the merriment were a group of dedicated volunteers and a very new — but very competent — Festival on-the-Green board of directors. Taking a bow for the first time were Festival President David Andrews, Vice President Donna Brewer and Treasurer Walter Deverell.
“We had quite a transition in leadership,” said Boera, the most veteran of the organizers. “But all the folks fit into their new roles as if they had done them forever.”
The Festival board will hold a wrap-up meeting in late August to assess this year’s festival and take stock in its finances. The news on that front is mixed, according to figures presented by Deverell.
The good news is that organizers exceeded by $500 the targeted $25,000 goal they had set for pre-event fundraising. Those donations came in response to a solicitation letter.
Supplementing the festival’s income are cash contributions that attendees can stuff into a bucket during the free event. Those contributions came in at around $4,600 — which is $200 less than the $4,800 anticipated from that source.
Overall, organizers anticipated raising around $31,800 for an event that actually costs around $38,000 to stage. The largest festival expense is fees for performers, followed by rental of the tent.
“Hopefully, we can do a little better in our fundraising attempt,” Deverell said, quipping that Festival on-the-Green budgeting has historically mirrored an old expression: “Leap, and the net will appear.”
He stressed that no consideration is being given to charging for the event.
Anyone wishing to contribute to the festival can do so by making checks payable to Festival on-the-Green, P.O. Box 451, Middlebury, VT 05753.
Boera thanked the many volunteers who helped make the festival so successful this year. Among them were three Patricia A. Hannaford Career Center students who, under the direction of their teacher, Lisa Rader, designed a logo for the event. It features the black silhouette of a tent with a number “34” emblazoned on a flag above. The three students who designed the logo were Zak Crapo, Cody Mannigan and Nam Ho.
“It was a magical week,” Boera said.
Reporter John Flowers is at [email protected].

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